If you consistently feel blue, you might want to get help—for the rest of your body’s sake. According to a study published in the journal Neurology, depression could triple your risk of Parkinson’s disease.
“Depression is linked in other studies to illnesses such as cancer and stroke,” says study author Albert C. Yang, M.D., Ph.D., with Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. “Our study suggests that depression may also be an independent risk factor for Parkinson’s disease.”
The researchers analyzed the medical records of 4,634 people with depression and 18,544 without depression at the onset of the study and again after 10 years. After the follow-up period, they found that 66 people with depression (1.42%) and 97 without depression (0.52%) had Parkinson’s disease diagnosed. People with depression were, precisely, 3.24 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those without depression.
This is another instance of how the brain could affect the body in the long run. It is important if you think you have depression to be properly diagnosed and treated—your physical health greatly depends on it.